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Valley Will Likely See COVID Lockdown Order Extended Tuesday

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UPDATE: Stay-at-home orders are expected to be extended in Central and Southern California Tuesday as hospitals quickly run out of intensive care unit beds for coronavirus patients ahead of the presumed post-holiday surge.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the decision would be made after a review of the latest hospitalization data, including from Monday — the end date for the original 3-week lockdown. Newsom said the announcement would come Tuesday.

“It is clear, and it’s understandable, that those stay-at-home orders will likely be extended,” Newsom said Monday.

The situation is already dire, and the worst is expected to come in the next few weeks after Christmas and New Year’s travelers return home. California hit 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Christmas Eve, becoming the first state to reach the grim milestone.

Health inspectors and authorities stepped up enforcement at restaurants and shopping malls over the post-Christmas weekend in an attempt to curb the surge.

Statewide, officials on Sunday reported that California has had 2,122,806 confirmed cases and more than 24,000 deaths. The figures are from Saturday, the most recent data available. Most of the state is under stay-at-home orders.

The Stay-at-Home Orders Require Regions to Have ICU Capacity Projections to Be Above or Equal to 15%

The state’s total confirmed cases rose by more than 50,000 — an increase of 2.4% — over the previous day, data shows. Some of the cases reflect two days of data from Los Angeles County, which had an internet service interruption Friday and caused delays in reporting.

There were 237 additional deaths reported to the state, a figure believed to be an undercount because of LA County’s delayed reporting.

The stay-at-home orders require regions to have ICU capacity projections to be above or equal to 15%.

Northern California’s ICU capacity projections are at 28.3%, while the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley projections are 0%. The Greater Sacramento region stands at 17.8% and the Bay Area is at 11.1%, state figures show.

“It is likely that the Regional Stay at Home Order will extend for many regions in California,” officials said in a news release Sunday.

In some Valley counties, state data shows there aren’t any ICU beds left. In others, only a handful remain. The crisis is straining the state’s medical system well beyond its normal capacity, prompting hospitals to treat patients in tents, offices and auditoriums.

In Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, county estimates show that about 1 in 95 people are contagious with the virus. Officials estimate one person dies every 10 minutes from COVID-19 in the county.

This story has been updated to include comments made Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.